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A taxpayer's charges to contributing firms to participate in the publication of financial/legal books were determined to be taxable for sales tax purposes. The books, which are distributed to the contributing firms free of charge, are considered promotional goods. The sale of advertising services is exempt in Florida, but the sale of promotional goods is not exempt. Therefore, when an advertising agency sells promotional goods along with exempt items or services, the taxable items must be separately-stated in order for the exempt items to receive the exemption. In this transaction, the taxpayer did not separately state the printing charges. As a result, the entire charge to the contributing firms was found subject to Florida sales tax. (Technical Assistance Advisement, No. 09A-052, Florida Department of Revenue, October 9, 2009)


A taxpayer’s sale of customized software was determined to be service transaction that is not subject to Florida sales and use tax. Custom software represents software in which the vendor, at the customer's request, modifies or alters a prepackaged program to the customer's specification. The software is still viewed as a custom service transaction even when the taxpayer provides the customized software after the termination of a hosting agreement. Therefore, the licensing of the taxpayer's software is not subject to Florida sales tax as the sale of tangible personal property. (Technical Assistance Advisement, No. 09A-044, Florida Department of Revenue, September 2, 2009, released October 2009)


When a lease involves multiple use of real property, partially taxable and partially exempt, the Department will determine which portion of the total rental charge is exempt from the tax. This determination will be done a on a case-by-case basis, using the lease or license and any other information that may be available. Once the total taxable portion of the property is determined, the Department will divide that by the total area to come up with a taxable percentage to be multiplied by the total rent. (Technical Assistance Advisement, No. 09A-032, Florida Department of Revenue, July 1, 2009, released August 2009)


Florida has issued a technical Assistance Advisement stating that store credits issued in cards or paper form for use on a subsequent purchase are not excluded from Florida sales and use tax. The taxpayer believed that the trade-ins are taken at the time of sale as required in the Florida statute. However, it was determined that a subsequent purchase assumes that at the time of the trade-in, the customer has not identified, nor possessed, tangible personal property. Therefore, the future sale has not been executed at the time of the trade-in when the cards or paper credits are issued. It was further noted that the trade-in credits are analogous to a gift certificate or cash equivalent which is included in the sales price subject to tax. (Technical Assistance Advisement, No. 09A-038, Florida Department of Revenue, July 21, 2009)


Starting September 1, 2009, the Florida Department of Revenue will impose an administrative collection processing fee on various outstanding Department administered and collected taxes, including sales and use taxes. The fee will be equal to 10% of the total amount of the tax, penalty, and interest owed, or $10 per collection event, whichever is greater. A collection event happens any time a taxpayer fails to timely file a complete return or timely pay the full amount of tax reported on a return or assessed during audit. This fee will apply to debt from collection events that are more than 90 days old and debt that remains outstanding for longer than 90 days after initial notification. (Tax Information Publication, No. 09ADM-02, Florida Department of Revenue, June 11, 2009)



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